We all enjoy shopping on occasion; even those who despise being dragged around clothes shops will find themselves enjoying a tech shopping spree or grocery shopping. There’s a type of shopping out there for everyone and, although it would seem that purchases are made because we consumers have already decided we want a product prior to leaving the house, there are many factors that affect a customers purchasing decision, one of these being the shops interior and layout.
Store design and visual merchandising is an art that implements design and presentation to increase footfall and sales. All stores will have meticulously planned their store layout, as well as their shelving and product placement. These plans can change throughout the year, with many stores choosing to move products around when big holidays, such as Christmas, come around.
A tactic many stores implement is ensuring that products they want to budge, items that are usually slightly pricier or are known top sellers, are at consumer eye level. Consumers often rely on convenience, with many leading hectic lifestyles, so the easier stores make it to see products, the higher the chance that a consumer will make a purchase.
Colour is also an important factor which businesses will take seriously when they are looking to increase footfall and purchases. It’s important for colours to be on-brand so that loyal consumers will be able to associate the deals with the store straight away. Many shops will also choose to decorate walls with neutral colours as this allows them to target a wider demographic, with the addition of brightly coloured displays to appeal to different niches.
It is also interesting to note that, as most consumers are right handed, they tend to go towards the right hand side of the store first upon entering, which many businesses will take into account. It usually leads to many deciding to display their more expensive products or even their most unique displays on the right hand side of the store entrance and interior.
The layout of a store can also be intentionally confusing, or will constantly be changed so that consumers will spend longer in the shop, walking up and down segments of the shop they wouldn’t have otherwise visited. This is done in the hope that displays or products in these segments will catch the customer’s eyes, encouraging purchases that may not have otherwise taken place.
Most senses will affect a customers purchasing decisions; smell, sound and, as already mentioned, sight. It’s surprising how many businesses will manipulate our sense of smell to encourage purchases. Vape and e-cigarette companies, restaurants and cosmetic shops, to name a few, will spray encouraging scents in their stores, well as by the entrance, to entice consumers into their store, increasing footfall. Women’s clothing stores will often choose lavender or vanilla scents, whereas men’s clothing stores will often resort to sandalwood scents.
Sound is often used to encourage consumers to stay in shops for longer periods of time which, in turn, will lead to additional purchases. Shops such as Abercrombie & Fitch choose loud club music as it’s thought that shoppers tend to make a larger amount of impulse purchases when they are overstimulated. This music will also appeal to the young, hip demographic that will frequent the store, which is their desired target market.
Most shops, however, will opt for slightly quieter music, with the aim of overstimulating consumers by playing popular chart music. The overstimulation, as well as increasing impulse purchasing, can effect decision making and puts consumers in a happy, optimistic mood. Those looking to target an older demographic of shoppers, and even restaurants, will choose a more calming playlist with a slower tempo to encourage shoppers and diners to stick around for longer, setting the pace for their visit.
Furthermore, it’s vital to keep a store clean, especially when it’s busy. This is why during sales periods and weekends you’ll often find multiple members of staff working hard to keep the shop floor looking presentable. This will prevent messy displays and will encourage more people to step in off the streets to look at your spotless shop.
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